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Professionals in criminal justice not only work to understand why crime happens, but also how to prevent it.
People within the field work with law enforcement at the local and national level to keep our cities and country as a whole safe from various threats. Many people first hear about this career through watching crime shows on TV - they imagine an exciting job filled with lots of drama and suspense. While that may be true, this career is ultimately for people with a passion to help others in the community.
Criminal justice jobs are expected to increase within the coming years, with many jobs expected to experience a growth of 6 percent from the years 2016-2026. This is due to increased threats thanks to our globalizing world. Those who earn their PhD in this field will fill the highest positions and will be expected to be the leaders in policy development and implementation.
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What type of PhD in criminal justice should you get?
A similar field is criminology. Criminology is the study of crime. Criminal justice, on the other hand, is the application of the criminal justice system and other institutions to combat crime. Thus, the two fields are overlapping. Many PhD programs in criminal justice cover both theory and application, making this the ideal degree for those who wish to seek the highest positions within the field.
An online PhD program may be the best choice for working professionals. These degrees are generally more flexible and do not necessarily require students to be full-time. Coursework can be completed on one’s own time, while still having the necessary resources to work one-on-one with faculty in order to complete the dissertation. In addition, online programs may be more affordable, too.
Click here to see the best undergraduate Criminal Justice degrees.
How much money does an online PhD in criminal justice make?
PayScale states that the average salary of those who possess a PhD in criminal justice earn about $64,000. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have any information directly on PhD holders, the median salary as of May 2018 of criminal justice and law enforcement postsecondary teachers is similar at $61,900. In order to get an idea of one’s future salary, it would be best to research a particular position or career path within the field.
For example, the median salary of private investigators is $50,090, with the highest earners at the 90 percentile earn $89,200. The median salary of forensic science technicians is $58,230. Lastly, the median salary of police and detectives is $63,380. Unfortunately, there is not enough data to show the breakdown of salary and education for each position, but those with more education can expect to make more, provided that they continue having meaningful work experience.
What can you do with an online PhD in criminal justice?
As this is the highest degree of its kind in the field, there are numerous career options upon graduation: academia (teaching and research), field practitioner (working directly in the field), or in top-level management positions. As most people who obtain their PhD already possess several years of working experience, an online degree is quite common as it does not require one to necessarily give up all their working hours entirely. In addition, many people do not realize they may need to further their education until they begin working.
Below are some examples of possible careers:
- Federal Bureau Investigation Agent
- Cybersecurity Analyst
- Policy Analyst
What are the requirements for an online PhD in criminal justice?
Desirable applicants should already possess a master’s degree in criminal justice. Some schools may allow those with a similar degree to apply, provided that they take additional requirements. In addition to a strong GPA, applicants should include letters of recommendations, resume showing several years of work experience, and graduate test scores (if applicable).
An online PhD will consist of coursework almost entirely online. Classes will either be synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous means that there will be set class times and timed tests/assignments. Asynchronous, the most common format, means that students can complete coursework on their own time by a certain deadline. Some programs may follow both formats. Furthermore, some online PhD programs will still require an in-person residency.
What are the best online PhDs in criminal justice?
We’ve found that the best degrees are those that offer not only fair prices, but ample flexibility and convenience as well! To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line - just how much is this going to cost? Check out our methodology page for a more in-depth description of our data.
Once we determine all of the above, we curate a list of stellar schools for you! These not only represent the best degrees you can get, but also ones that will fit your budget. Check out our picks below!
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